Andre Iguodala returns to a lovefest: memories and comments
virtual celebration Dinner with Andre
Andre Iguodala announced his return to the Warriors yesterday, and Dub Nation HQ was deliriously happy. I’ll include some representative comments below, but it’s fair to say the average response was “I don’t know how much Andre can give on the court, but I’m still irrationally happy.”
Here are some random memories of Andre.
Andre joins the Warriors
This was soon after the Warriors whacked the Iguodala’s Nuggets in 2013. (In fact some say Andre starting thinking of switching sides mid-series.) At the time there was buzz because Andre was sniping at his coach George Karl and basically saying the Warriors had more integrity. There was some buzz that Andre and Steph were friendly (maybe from Team USA 2012?), but frankly it didn’t seem likely at all that Andre would come in free agency.
My memory is the Warriors were pursuing Dwight Howard. GSW has been endlessly cursed to search for a good big man, always to be denied, so it was clear Howard was just the latest football that the Lucy of Fate would yank away. Then wham, Andre had joined.
What a stunner. It was the first really big free agent signing since… Baron Davis…? With all due respect to All-Star David Lee.
The first two weeks
I was so excited to have Iguodala on the team. And of course we all know how important he was. But I really remember the first two weeks he was on the team. He had a lightness and electricity to his step that was thrilling. And then he hurt himself (leg injury) and although he was great on return, he never quite recaptured that free energy of the beginning. He always seemed to be a little slower and stepped more gingerly.
In 2013-14, Harrison Barnes took a big step backwards from his promising rookie playoffs performance, probably having a hard time adjusting to coming off the bench behind Andre. So Steve Kerr asked Andre to come off the bench so Barnes could thrive alongside Stephen Curry in the starting lineup.
Andre dealt with it without open complaint, but you could tell in his comments there was an undercurrent of “I’m doing this for the good of the team, but we all know this is BS.”
The Finals MVP
I was so happy for Andre when he won this. Such a validation of his choice to be Sixth Man. It was decided through a dopey process (small panel of media people trying to reward LeBron indirectly), but it’s cool.
Yes, nowadays the lack of Finals MVP for Steph is a talking point, but only in the lowest level basketball discussions. Don’t feed the trolls.
And of course these plays…
Now for a sampling of your comments:
rcknfn (5 ♡):
This comment thread may be the most positive vibes thread I have read in a while. All for old-man Andre. I guess he is indeed loved in Bay Area.
BadlyBrowned (22 ♡): Alright, now sign Chriss and call it an offseason.
Captain Jack (14 ♡):
Kind of funny how Klay refused to suit up for the Warriors until Andre returned. Real friend.
Eric Apricot (14 ♡):
The last couple of years, Iguodala continued debating and discussing basketball philosophy with Green. He talked life and golf with Curry, appreciating how he built his brand. He plans to ride on Thompson’s boat to a practice or two. “I’m looking forward to that, actually,” he said.
Iguodala said he is looking forward to mentoring the team’s younger players like the veterans Kevin Ollie and Aaron McKie did for him when he entered the league — a component he feels is often overlooked — and using the “militaristic, kind of Navy seal approach” he learned in Miami.
“The way that they develop their younger players in making sure they have the proper approach to how they’re doing their job is second to none and I really appreciated that,” Iguodala said, “because there’s a fine line between your superstar and your eighth, ninth guy coming off the bench and all of our guys were always ready.”
Sleepy Freud (8 ♡):
The Sleepyette is *thrilled* with this news. Andre’s her #1 all-time Warrior, and I don’t think there’s a close #2.
crusty quips (7 ♡):
Really really glad I don't have to watch Andre in a Lakers or Nets uni next year. Welcome back champ!
belilaugh (7 ♡):
Iguodala coming back is definitely very good news for Moody and Kuminga.
DraymondWantsItMore (6 ♡):
I know he's not going to have as big an impact at 37 (38?) But I can't help but be irrationally excited about Dre's return. I also think there's a ton of off court intangibles he brings, not only mentoring the youngins but being an "adult" for Kerr to lean on and a friend for the core. We gonna be shampionship!
The Bratch (5 ♡):
And while I am a bit skeptical of just how much Andre has left, I am irrationally excited to have him back. He belongs in the blue and gold. Plus, I agree that his mentoring could make a world of difference for the young guys.
Willy White Shoes (5 ♡):
Similar sentiment over here. [Partner loooves Andre.]
Should I be concerned about the distant look in her eyes as she muttered something about "...those shoulders...." ?
Anything Andre has 'left in the tank' is 'icing on the cake'. May his fingerprints be all over Steph's FMVP trophy.
Doc (5 ♡):
So happy about Andre returning. He keeps himself in great shape, lives to compete on the biggest stage, and can role model for the young wings. Andre has a unique combination of cerebral anticipation and lightning quick hands. He fits with Steph, Klay, and Dray like a glove. We can keep him warmed up and healthy during the regular season and cut him loose during the playoffs.
We got the band back together.
Now let’s send Andre into retirement with a ring!
Captain Jack (5 ♡):
The youngsters will get to witness dynasty era Warriors basketball too when Andre is on the floor with our main guys
SpreeWebb (2 ♡):
Finally, Dre is back home. The last two years didn’t feel right without Dre and Klay. They’re such a huge part of the team’s championship DNA. The band is finally back together.
I know Dre isn’t going to play a lot of minutes, especially in the regular season, but he is a difference maker. Even in Miami, he regularly posted a positive +/- most games. His value goes far beyond the box score though. He’s invaluable as a leader/mentor for the young players and will contribute to their development immensely. It’ll make Steph very happy as well to have his BFF on the team, which shouldn’t be discounted.
Whatever Dre wants to do post-playing career, the Warriors should keep him in the fold. I can see him being the coach one day or working in the front office.
My enthusiasm for this season just went up about 10,000 % now that my favorite player is back where he belongs.
Janet (1 ♡):
All is right with the world.